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Cabinet has given the go-ahead for the Ministry of Justice to enter into a contract with the Canadian Bar Association, to undertake a comprehensive review of the Jamaican justice system.
Speaking to journalists at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing yesterday (July 24), Minister of Information and Development, Senator Colin Campbell said the review would be carried out at a cost of some $55 million through grant funding to be paid by Canadian officials.
Senator Campbell indicated that there were eight objectives of the review, including the completion of a strategic analysis of the Jamaican justice system and the development of recommendations for the improvement of the services provided to customers by the Ministry and its agencies.
Detailing the remaining objectives, he said these included the formulation of sound sector policies, technical standards, and operational norms; enhancement of sector accountability by strengthening the internal and external controls; the development of strategies to facilitate rationalisation of the justice system; and the identification of the necessary competencies which are required to facilitate the creation of a cohesive, comprehensive justice system, which meets and adequately disposes of the challenges now posed to it.
Additional objectives of the review are: engaging the wider society integrally in the exercise to renew and modernise the justice system; ensuring that trust and confidence in the institutions relevant to the justice system are restored; and developing initiatives to make the justice system fairer, simpler, and more affordable by paying more attention to the elimination of redundant processes.
According to the Information Minister, the Justice Ministry expects that several deliverables will be realised from the review.
It is expected that the study will pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses of the Jamaican justice system and also introduce technological innovations across the justice system.
Furthermore, the review is anticipated to effect cost efficiency and quality; develop performance standards and access to restorative justice, dispute resolution and citizen centredness, design a comprehensive strategy for modernisation of the systems as well as a work plan and schedule for consultation and initiatives and justice summits.